Creative Conditions

All it takes is the right mindset. I have learned (this has taken many years and even now I’m still learning this lesson) that if I wait for the perfect time/place/setting/inspiration in order to write, I’ll never get any writing done. Now, does this mean that I don’t have any idea of what constitutes optimal writing conditions for me? Of course not. I could list my writing preferences until the end of days. It’s important to have preferences when it comes to conditions; but it’s even more important to make sure that those conditions don’t become obstacles to writing.

In other words, use those moments when you do have your perfect storm of writing conditions to write, but don’t let a lack of those conditions stop you from writing.

Don’t decide you can’t write simply because you haven’t finished setting up the perfect writing desk. Why should the surface you’re using dictate whether you get to write or not? I’ve never heard of a famous writer saying “I’m a writer only when the sun is conjunct to Mercury and the shadows hit my desk at a 67 degree angle so that it turns a beautiful shade of gray and the only sound is the ticking of the timer on the coffee machine 30 minutes after brewing a fresh pot.”

Right.

And yet, when I think about it, that’s exactly what all of my ‘perfect writing conditions’ can sound like when I let them become obstacles to getting any writing done.

I am a writer, regardless of my surroundings.

I am not a writer only when it’s quiet, I’m alone, I don’t have other distractions, the internet is working, and I’m in a specific space. And I’m pretty sure that if you consider yourself a writer, you wouldn’t want to add any of those caveats to you BEING a writer either, would you?

I bumped into this very situation while working on the post right before this one. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, I was really excited to write, and then (dun dun dun!): the internet went out, my computer was messing up, my mom requested my help, the dogs were vying for my attention, I didn’t have a designated writing space while visiting my parents, it was definitely not quiet, the list goes on…

Now, the options I would have seen for myself, even as early as last week would have been 1) keep fighting the conditions and get something half-written or 2) just not write and wait for a better time (which likely wouldn’t occur). In fact, not having the ideal conditions has stopped me from truly writing for many, many years.

But I’m a writer. I’m a writer because I said I am. It’s that simple. I may not have my ideal conditions, but that won’t stop be from writing. So I grabbed my notebook and a pen and went with my mom as she requested, writing in the car to and from the errand. Ta da! Guess who was still able to write? And was it successful? You bet, because the result was my first post in my Inspiration Series.

I’m spending most of today and tomorrow in the car, driving. But I want to share my experiences with you. So while I prefer to be at home, with nothing else on my mind, completely focused on my writing, in my own space, I’m actually sitting in Panera on my lunch break, on my iPad, writing out this post. Talk about a change of scenery!!! Just think, if I can write outside of my ideal conditions, imagine what I could do within them?

MY TAKE AWAY: I am a writer. My surroundings do not define whether I’m a writer or not. If conditions are yours to control then sure!, give yourself those ideal conditions to write. But if they aren’t? Just write. If you truly want to write, you will find a way to do so. It really is that simple.

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